I am of Iraqi/Iranian heritage. I was born in Kuwait in 1987, during Saddam Hussein's regime, 3 years prior to the Invasion of Kuwait and towards the end of the Iraq-Iran War. As a result, my family moved around frequently, till we eventually settled in New Zealand in 1996. 

Growing up, I had always turned to painting or drawing as a way of processing the constant changes that took place amidst a turbulent upbringing. This form of expression neutralized the need to speak, which was often an obstacle in foreign countries where language, humor, cultures and traditions differed and contradicted my own. I learnt to adapt quickly in various situations, becoming increasingly sensitive to cultural nuances that dictated my behavior. 

Similarly, my works respond directly to a particular time and place, resulting in a failure to adhere to any particular style. I am drawn to volatile geographical situations where two or more ethnicities or religions co-exist side by side. I search for commonalities in clashing cultures, for glimmers of connection and acceptance in the most hopeless situations. This has informed the places I choose to travel and therefore the works I create. 

 

Education 

2020 - present

2019

2009 - 2013

Grad Dip of Arts - History Major

Studio Escalier Autumn Intensive Painting  

Bachelor of Fine Arts - Whitecliffe

Awards 

2020

2019

2019

2018

2018

2018

Adam Portraiture Award Finalist 2020

Studio Escalier Autumn Schorlarship

Molly Morpeth Canaday Award Finalist

Impressions National Art Awards, Nelson 1st Prize

Emerging Artist Award, Auckland 1st Prize

Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award, Hawera 1st Prize

Collections 

2020

2019

2018